While working on an outdoor Christmas project using NeoPixel strips, I ran into a small problem. I wanted to be able to have several groups of pixels many feet apart from each other, but still all synchronized and controlled by the same single controller. I worked out a way to use RS-485 drivers to push the data through CAT5 cable, along with using small, low cost DC/DC converters to distribute the power to the remote strips. I was able to control a full 5 meter roll of NeoPixels through 100 feet of CAT5 using the technique, more than enough for my project.
Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip 30 LED -1m – WHITE: You thought it couldn’t get better than our world-famous 32-LED-per-meter Digital LED strip but we will prove you wrong! These NeoPixel strips have 30 digitally-addressable pixel LEDs per meter and are very affordable and are only 12.5 mm wide, 10 mm if you remove the strip from the casing. This is the strip with white flex PCB, its identical to the black 30 LED/meter except it has a different color mask on the flex strip. (read more)
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.